MiG Alley: Spring Offensive Report
By Derek Bond
Day one, 5Jan.
Successful B-29 strikes on Seoul, Pyongyang and Seoul again. The morning strike was the same as every other SO I've played. Attack those damn airfields- Kimpo and Seoul. Split B-29's evenly to each target. Huge furball with 48 Sabres and Stars against 40 MiGs. No contest as the good guys won 35-3. 3 Forts also lost however.
Midday session and another huge package of F-86/F-80 escort and B-29's to downtown PYang to hit the marshalling yard. Lots of damage to the target and it was listed as destroyed. The second wave of T-Jets knocked out Pyongyang Railbridge. Double whammy! Both the Marshalling yard and railbridge destroyed on day one.
Another engagement with similar numbers, but several fighters lost to ack-ack and crashing into the deck. Afternoon raid with B-29's to Seoul myard and bridge complex. One flight of Forts were tasked with the railbridge while the other 3 hit the yard. Heavy damage to the myard, downgraded from high activity to low.
Somehow, the fourth flight destroyed all three railbridges and the roadbridge! I couldn't believe it. All 3 sessions of day one included Ponies flying Reconn. Each and every one was a success and many trucks/trains were destroyed. In addition both Mustangs and T-Jets were assigned to hit railbridges and Suwon, Wonju and Pyongtaek supply points. Significant damage to all. Pyongtaek listed as destroyed.
Day Two, 6Jan.
Day two saw aggressive strategy. Morning mission was to Manpo in China with B-26's. Too far for the F-80's, so it was only Sabres for escort duty. Target damaged and reduced from high to very low activity. Several Sabres not coming home. Lots 'o MiGs. In just four sessions, the U.N. has claimed about 120 kills. Very intense and determined dogfighting.
Midday raid on Nampo Port and Supply SW of Pyongyang. Standard huge package intercepted by 7 flights of MiGs. 4 from China, 3 from area fields. Lost about a dozen planes to MiGs. UN claimed 51 kills! We were engaged for what had to be an hour. Fantastic. 5 precious T-Jets were shot down by AAA attacking the ships at the port. B-26's to Seoul Marshalling yard in the afternoon. Total of over 300 trucks/trains now destroyed.
Day Three, 7Jan.
UN ground forces now on the offensive on western and central fronts. Strength favors UN, so it looks as though they'll push through. The 7th and 8th of Jan we scaled back the aggressiveness while licking our wounds from the previous couple of days. Both Pyongyang railbridge and Seoul roadbridge had been repaired. Subsequent strikes to each saw Pyang knocked out by two heavily escorted flights of F-84's. Really smacked it good. 7 elements of the bridge destroyed. Seoul roadbrige still stands.
Thanks to KC, I now make it a point to scan the activity levels of towns and villages. This revealed Hoengsong was buzzin' with Reds. Listed as medium in priorities. I have learned when a town near the front is active, ya gotta hit it.
A total of 3 B-26 raids were sent in the 2 days. Completely leveled Hoengsong. Have recieved 1 new section of both F-86's and F-80's. Most squadrons reduced to about 13 planes. Was pleased to discover at dawn of 9Jan, that the front had moved forward to Wonju. A little breathin' room. And that's the progress so far, won't stop 'till Seoul is ours. Then maybe a couple days off and it's on to PYang!
Day Five, 9Jan
The Reds are up nights working on the bridges. 4 previously destroyed railbridges are now listed as operational. MiGs are not venturing south. Currently all are based at the Sinmak-Sariwon cluster of airbases south of Pyongyang. Daring, heavily escorted T-Jet strikes on Taeryong and then Sinuiju railbridges are met by determined resistence by China-based MiGs. It is reported but not confirmed that Sabres had crossed the river. Both strikes perfect and Sinuiju is 6/7 destroyed. Should be down for a while.
Further unescorted F-80/F-84 attacks on frontline bridges are roughly 50% effective. Keeping the Mustangs on reconn. Unescorted B-26's are attacking Osan and Suwon towns. The engagements on the Sinuiju and Tearyong attacks have reduced the 1st Sabre Squadron to 9 planes. Not many more for the other squadrons. I flew one reconn near Kaesong in Sabres equipped with rockets. It was listed as high activity/high capacity.
F51 Cockpit Pan View
As we neared the target area, we could make out the smoke of about ten trains. Ordered the wingies to engage and rolled into a dive to take a look-see myself. Made a high speed, low level 90 degree pass to inspect the trains and scanned for AAA. Almost flew too low as my wingmen's rockets passed just below me! Luckily, they hit a train. It was close though. The trains were just locomotives with no cars in tow.
Now, I've seen this in the SO before, but never in the first week. It appears that the focus on the rail system is paying dividends. We destroyed all the engines and upon return to base were credited with 27 vehicles destroyed and 273 tons! A large MiG formation that passed over us made for a anxious flight home, but they elected not to engage. Good thing too. Only 4 Sabres vs. 30 MiGs ain't what they taught you in flight training. No further progress on the ground to 11Jan. UN holds initiative on all fronts. All squadrons at about half strength.
It should be noted that Sinuiju railbridge is a vital target, but it's also very dangerous to attack. It lies just south of the Yalu, and is defended by several MiG bases in China. The destruction of this bridge will severly restrict the flow of supplies in the WSR.
To complement this tactic, I attacked Taeryong railbridge because of it's strategic location further down the route. Of course, the more bridges you can destroy, the better. But the limited number of planes on hand makes picking the right bridges critical. It is equally important to hit the marshalling yards and trains if, like me, you make the destruction of the Red rail system the first strategic objective.
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